June 30, 2021
The Fight for Great Lakes Funding Continues
ELPC urges full funding for Great Lakes Restoration Initiative in this year's congressional budget talks. House subcommittee so far shows strong support.
The Great Lakes are a global gem. They contain 21% of the planet’s surface freshwater, provide drinking water for 42 million people, sustain a rich aquatic habitat, and support a $7 billion annual fishing industry. The Great Lakes are where millions of us live, work, and play. To protect this critical region, we are closely watching the fate of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI), as Congress undergoes the process of funding the government for FY22.
Fortunately, we have good news from the House subcommittee responsible for the bill that will fund the US EPA and GLRI. The subcommittee has included FULL funding for FY2022 – $375 million. As in past years, ELPC was a vocal advocate for this funding, and we are thrilled to see such strong support continue. But the work is not yet over for full support in Congress. Just last week, ELPC submitted testimony to the Senate subcommittee that will be developing its version of the bill to fund the EPA and GLRI.
The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative is an effective, bipartisan program has already achieved strong results for our region. It is helping to improve water quality, protect shorelines, restore habitats, clean up toxic sediments, prevent invasive species, and more. A University of Michigan study showed that every $1.00 of funds spent on GLRI Projects between 2010 and 2016 will produce $3.35 in additional economic activity in the Great Lakes region through 2036. GLRI needs full funding to continue this great work and protect the natural resources we rely on.